As a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) who has not only written hundreds of resumes but hired hundreds of employees for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses, I thought it might be interesting to compile some observations gleaned from reviewing 50 random resumes edited/written in 2014.

  • 25 percent of resume requestors do not have current jobs.
  • 90 percent have Bachelor degrees or more advanced education.
  • 80 percent have some kind of professional development after formal schooling either through their employers or other institutions
  • Breakdown of applicant ages (approximate):
    • 22-30: 19%
    • 31-40: 21%
    • 41-50: 30%
    • 51+: 30%
  • Earliest job listed:
    • 1970s: 8%
    • 1980s: 18%
    • 1990 through 1994: 12%
    • 1995 through 2014: 62%
  • Number of pages on resumes received:
    • 1-2: 23%
    • 3-5: 54%
    • 6+: 23%
    • (Shortest, 1 page; longest, 15 pages)
  • Resumes received with no summary of qualifications (where there is no summary or there is an objective instead): 80%

Writing Observations- Resume Writers Know:

  • How to clarify bullet points: Resume writers take a sentence like this:
    • Perform various analysis and audit procedures on specific accounts to ensure the accuracy of various companies financial information, ensure that funds were not misappropriated and that accounting records are accurate and complete
  • And turn it in to this: Use analytical and audit procedures to ensure the accuracy of financial information and verify that no misappropriation of funds has occurred.
  • How to repair writing quirks: Any writer has words that they may unintentionally over use. A resume writer (while watching out for our own writing quirks) fixes ones like these bullets that contain a few too many “variouses”:

NCR first article

  • How to improve template choices. If nothing else, a resume writer can provide a template that works not only for how your work documents fit your occupation, but for the job you’re applying to.

Conclusions from these 10 observations? In my opinion:

  • The statistics reflect that many job seekers are getting prepared for the possibility that they might have to change jobs although they may still be employed.
  • Education and professional development play a big part in moving ahead or at least staying current with competitor job seekers.
  • The 30% of those wanting resume rewrites who are over 50 are seeing, I think, how tough it can be to sustain positions when in that age group. They may need to “de-age” themselves on paper.
  • A resume can be however many pages that work but many hiring managers will not look past two, especially if a strong competitor has a well written two page summary.
  • Applicants appear to be unaware that a summary (a well-written, thumbnail career sketch) is preferred over an objective.

Many struggle to write coherently about their work. Getting that info into a coherent, bright, interview-getting representation of a career is the 11th thing good resume writers know how to do.